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This research aimed to examine the experiences of nurses and nursing leadership who worked through the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding their experiences will help better support those suffering from burnout. An integrative review was done by searching three databases in February 2022. Search terms included: burnout, compassion fatigue, Nurs*, leadership, and COVID-19. A total of 288 studies were retrieved, with 11 eligible for review. Seven themes were identified: information, safety, psychological and physical impacts on nurses, patient needs vs. pandemic needs, acknowledgment, protective factors and positive things from their experience, and changes in responsibilities. Understanding the nurses’ and nurse leaders’ experiences throughout the pandemic is imperative to implementing practice and policy changes that mitigate burnout and rebuilding the profession and healthcare system.

Further research is needed to ascertain the experiences of nurses and nurse leaders after the first year and post-pandemic. Experiences likely evolved along with the pandemic. Interventions are urgently needed to assist frontline workers in making sense of their experiences. While there had been an effort to protect clinicians’ well-being and an awareness of the growing prevalence of burnout before the pandemic, the importance of understanding factors that contribute to clinician distress through this pandemic has become increasingly evident.

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Jessica L. Powell, BSN, RN, CCRN

Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, MedSurg 2

Experiences of Nurses and Nurse Leaders During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Integrative Review